Westmoreland County softball playoff capsules
Hempfield (25-0) vs. Chambersburg (20-5)
4 p.m. at Mt. Aloysius College, Cresson
Winner plays: Hazleton (21-3)/Spring-Ford (21-4) winner 4 p.m. Thursday at Penn State for PIAA championship.
Extra bases: This is a semifinal rematch, at the same site, from last year's 4A tournament. Hempfield edged Chambersburg, 2-0, at Mt. Aloysius to reach the state finals. Hempfield has the state's longest winning streak (39 games) and is seeking its second straight PIAA title. The Spartans have been pushed in their last two games, needing late offense to advance. They scored five runs in the eighth inning to get past District 10 champion Erie McDowell, 5-0, in the quarters. Star pitcher Morgan Ryan (20-0, 188 Ks), a Notre Dame recruit, struck out 12 and allowed two hits. She worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning. Ali Belgiovane, Stacey Walling, Ryan, Madi Stoner and Laura Fox had RBIs. Fox had three hits. In the first round, Hempfield edged Central York, 1-0, on a Ryan fifth-inning home run. ... District 3 champion Chambersburg is the team that knocked out Latrobe, 4-2, in the first round. Pitchers Laken Myers and Leah Hunt led the Trojans to a 3-1 win over Perkiomen Valley in the quarterfinals. Myers gave up two hits in five innings, and Hunt struck out four in two innings. Sammie Bender had a two-run triple for the Trojans.
Yough (19-3) vs. Mt. Pleasant (15-3)
4 p.m. at Cal (Pa.)
Winner plays: Bangor (26-1)/ Tunkhannok (18-5) winner at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Penn State for PIAA championship.
Extra bases: Mt. Pleasant, semifinal-bound for the first time, was supposed to play a nonsection game at returning state champion Yough on May 1, but the game was rained out and never happened. Now the intriguing clash between two of Westmoreland's best happens on a big stage. The teams were in the same section (4-AAA) the last two years, and Yough won all four meetings by a combined score of 45-4. Mt. Pleasant knocked off WPIAL champion Belle Vernon, 5-4, in the quarterfinals, avenging a district semifinal loss to the Leopards. The Vikings overcame 15 strikeouts by Belle Vernon pitcher Bailey Parshall. Addy Kubasky had a key double, and Sydney Kanuch had two hits for Mt. Pleasant, last year's WPIAL champion in 3A. ... Yough jumped on District 3 champion Kennard-Dale early, taking a 7-0 lead after two innings on the way to an 11-0, six-inning win in the quarterfinals. Winning pitcher Kierra Waywood and Alona Sleith had RBI triples, and Olivia Miller homered for the Cougars. Hannah Bach added three hits and an RBI. Three of the Cougars' six playoff games have been played at Cal.
— Bill Beckner Jr.